High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to efficiently burn fat, lose weight, and improve your fitness. You can get more benefits than a traditional cardio workout and in just a fraction of the time. It’s important to practice HIIT correctly to minimize your risk injuries, and that’s what we will cover in this post.
One way to reduce the likelihood of injury from HIIT is to use an exercise machine that allows you to control the resistance. The reason this matters is that for the intervals of intense exercise, if you are performing an activity that requires little resistance, you will be moving your body very quickly, as in sprints. The only concern with this is that unless you are careful, there is more stress on your joints and a potentially higher risk of injury.
In contrast, if you use a machine such as a stationary bike or elliptical machine where you can increase the resistance, then you can still challenge your body during the high-intensity phase by maximizing the resistance but not having to move at an extremely rapid pace. Let me illustrate with an example of a HIIT workout:
- Warm up for three minutes on a cardio machine such as an elliptical machine.
- Now start your first interval of the high-intensity phase: Increase the resistance as high as tolerable such that it takes you all the effort you can muster to move for thirty seconds. You should feel like you couldn’t possibly go on any longer. If you can continue moving for more than thirty seconds it means that you need to increase the resistance.
- Lower the resistance and move at a slow to moderate pace for ninety seconds
- Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery four to five more times as tolerated. This will take you a total of about ten minutes.
- Cool down for three minutes with movement at lower resistance, and finish with stretching.
You should perform HIIT only once per week to reduce the likelihood of injury. On other days you can perform weight training and regular low-intensity activity and movement.
What has been your experience with HIIT? Please share below!